Before Rawhide, Clint Eastwood was just another young actor trying to make it in showbusiness. He started with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it parts in Fifties monster movies like Revenge of the Creature and Tarantula before getting small roles in shows like Death Valley Days and Maverick.
Even his break as Rowdy Yates wasn’t a guarantee of stardom. After all, the show’s main star was Eric Fleming as trail boss Gil Favor. But Eastwood soon won audiences over with his tenacity and charm. He even showed off his singing voice on the show and toured the country with costar Paul Brinegar in between seasons.
Of course, saying yes to parts in spaghetti Westerns A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly during breaks in Rawhide’s schedule might have something to do with Eastwood’s now iconic status.
See one of Hollywood’s most famous faces in his early TV days in these incredible full color photographs. All images courtesy of the Everett Collection.
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